(updated Oct 12 2022) A diet high in junk food and sugar can be destructive to your cardiovascular health. You may have heard about how cholesterol can accumulate in your arteries and put unnecessary strain on your heart.
Most people rely on blood thinners and other medications (statins) to combat the effects of high cholesterol, but the condition can easily be managed by food alone.
High cholesterol levels can lead to a buildup of plaque in the artery walls, narrowing the arteries, and causing a condition called atherosclerosis. this impairs blood flow throughout the body and increases risk of heart disease and stroke (1).
What Is Cholesterol?
There exist two main types of cholesterol (2):
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): “bad,” cholesterol transports cholesterol particles throughout your body and builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): “good” cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver to be cleared away through bile.
High levels of LDL cholesterol is typically caused by smoking, poor diet, inactivity, diabetes and is linked to obesity. To put it simply, high cholesterol, in most cases, is simply a reflection of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Specifically, high cholesterol refers to high levels of “oxidized cholesterol”.
When cholesterol is oxidized, it leads to a build-up of plaque in the artery walls, which hardens and narrows the arteries, and causes a condition called atherosclerosis.
Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium, cellular waste products and fibrin, that lodge inside our arterial walls and damage the cells that are already there, causing inflammation.
We now know that LDL cholesterol poses a health risk only if it is oxidized.
Oxidized cholesterol and oxidized fat are the real enemies. Our bodies treat these as foreign substances and stimulate inflammatory cytokines to damage and kill them with inflammation.
The fact that LDL cholesterol is highly prone to oxidation explains why a rise in LDL cholesterol normally brings about an increase in coronary artery disease risk.
The oxidized cholesterol that clogs our arteries and causes coronary artery disease stems from two sources:
One. We acquire some of them straight from our diets when we eat oxidized fats and oils.
Two. Our bodies produce the remainder internally.
Dietary oils and fats tend to become oxidized when they are heated, dried, aged, exposed to light, and otherwise chemically processed. A diet high in vegetable oils is unmistakably hazardous.
A lesser-known fact is that sugar oxidizes as well as oils and fats do. Glucose, and especially fructose, produce many oxidation products when they are aged, heated, or otherwise processed.
Studies have shown that people who are at serious risk of heart attacks to the extent that they need bypass surgery have high oxidized LDL cholesterol, not normal LDL cholesterol.
Luckily, it’s possible to get antioxidants from foods to neutralize free radicals and reverse the damage they cause to cells and organs.
Let’s get to our cholesterol-busting recipe with 3 natural ingredients.
This recipe provides your body with nutrients that can help break down bad cholesterol and clear your arteries as you transition into a healthier lifestyle.
- 4 liters/1 gal of clean water
- 8 organic lemons
- 8 cloves of organic garlic
- 4-5 cm /1.9 inches of organic ginger
- Scrub lemons properly to clean the rind, but do not peel.
- Slice lemon and peel the ginger and garlic.
- Crush the garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes. This will activate the allicin.
- Place everything but the water in a blender and pulse until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, add water and the paste and warm over medium heat.
- Just as it begins to boil, remove the mixture from heat.
- Let it cool and strain the liquid.
- Pour the drink in glass jars or bottles with lids and store in the refrigerator.
How to Use:
Drink daily on an empty stomach two hours before meals. Combine with exercise 3 times a week.
How It Works
Ginger: Dried ginger powder administered at 0.1 g/kg of body weight limits the risk of atheroma (degeneration of the walls of the arteries caused by accumulated fatty deposits and scar tissue) by up to 50% in just 75 days (3).
It also prevent heart disease by inhibiting the accumulation of platelets in the arteries and inhibiting cholesterol biosynthesis.
Additionally, it doesn’t have the negative side effects of other medication such as aspirin.
Garlic: Garlic is traditionally used to help prevent heart disease, including atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
It also treats high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and boosts the immune system (4).
One study that lasted 4 years found that people who took 900 mg daily of standardized garlic powder slowed the development of atherosclerosis.
It also contains antioxidants which fight free radicals to prevent heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer disease.
Lemons: Daily lemon intake and walking showed significant effects on lowering blood pressure while also increasing red blood cell count (5). Lemon also helps detox the liver to help it clear excess cholesterol.